Officials in St. Lawrence County were expecting to collect $3 million in revenue for 2015 from the tribal-state compact agreement, but instead will fall nearly $500,000 short.
Based on receipts recently received for the third quarter, County Administrator Ruth A. Doyle said, 2015’s total is expected to fall $499,000 under budget. St. Lawrence County has yet to receive fourth-quarter payments, according to the Watertown Daily Times. The county administrator said, the number of Canadians visiting the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, where the compact funds are generated, may be experiencing a reduction due to the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar or loonie, as it is commonly referred, was worth .72 cents in U.S. currency on Monday.
Doyle said, less people are coming across the border and she expects to receive much less money from tribal compact funds than their used to getting. In this year’s budget, St. Lawrence County has decreased its tribal compact revenue to $2.2 million down from $3 million.
Compact revenue is split between the county and the towns of Massena and Brasher. The revenue decrease could mean a loss of approximately $250,000 for the county, from the expected $1.5 million. The towns will each receive approximately $125,000 less than the projected $750,000 by the county.
Money spent at the 873 Route 37, Hogansburg casino in New York is the source of the compact revenue. The St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, as part of an agreement with the state, is supposed to provide the state with 25 percent of the net slot machine profits on a regular basis. That 25 percent is distributed by the state, with St. Lawrence County receiving 12.5 percent and Franklin County receiving the same.
Even though revenue projections have decreased, the municipalities and the town now have more leeway on how funds from the tribal-state compact can be used. Doyle said, no longer does the criteria have to be met for economic development, it’s just another source of revenue, now. Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray, said, the decrease in revenue won’t impact operations, because compact revenue isn’t included by the town in its general budget.